Canadian Border Crossing

Bonecollector

Veteran member
Mar 9, 2014
4,308
760
Ohio
I have the paperwork to fill out and carry with me when crossing the border for a possible bear hunt.
Is there anything else I'll need to carry or be aware of at my time of crossing?

I plan to have my bolt gun unassembled (bolt removed) and ammo in a completely separate space.
I will also have my originals and copies of my birth cert, drivers license, ss card, & passport. Paranoid... maybe, but I'm the innocent guy who is always singled out at the airport. I honestly think it's because I look non-threatening and to be an easy "check the box" assignment.

Thanks in advance guys!
 

sneakypete

Veteran member
Aug 9, 2011
2,648
48
Oakdale Ca.
I've hunted BC two times and here's what I've done. Passport, firearms permit fill it out but do not sign it! You'll, do that at the border. Your gun, I travel with mine in a hard case with double pad locks. Like you said ammo separate from the gun. Crossing isn't that bad just make it easy for yourself and the border agent. I even had a separate set of keys to my truck with the gun case keys on the ring. Here's another tip, if you have a family member or buddy traveling with you and flying back put the guns on your firearm permit. If they don't, they have to fly with they're guns. I know this because when my son and I hunted moose in BC. He had his own firearm permit so the gun had to return with him. Our outfitter pointed this out to us! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
 

AKaviator

Veteran member
Jul 26, 2012
1,498
260
Anchorage Alaska
You have it covered. I wouldn't carry your s.s. card or birth certificate, just in case you lose it all somewhere. Someone might turn into a new "Bonecollector"!! I've crossed several times and never had to show anything but a passport.
I'm sure you know, but don't sign the firearms declaration form in advance. They want it signed in front of them. My last time they didn't even ask to see the firearms.
If you are friendly and respectful, they will be too.
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
3,890
734
Gypsum, Co
All you need is your passport to get across. When you pull up to the window or they show up at the door just tell them what you are doing and that you have a firearm that you need to declare. They will then have you pull over to a location and usually come inside their office for the paperwork. They will then inspect your rifle while outside and you are inside.

When I went up bear hunting and went across the border it was no problem at all. They did however dump all of my gear out of my bags that I had packed for a horse back trip into a wilderness out and then didn't bother to even try to repack it the way that I did. They just crammed it into the bags. I didn't find out that they did this until I got to the trailhead.
 

hunter25

Active Member
Sep 8, 2016
440
80
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Canada didn't even check my gun or belongings when I crossed. Coming back in checked my bags only and quickly. But it was 30 below zero at the time where I crossed in Minnesota.

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hunter25

Active Member
Sep 8, 2016
440
80
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Having a form 4457 filled out by your local customs can be helpful for reentry also. Anything with a serial number, guns, scopes, cameras etc. Proves it was yours when you went in and not something your bringing back with you.


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JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
3,890
734
Gypsum, Co
When I came back into the US all the agent asked was if my rifle was on the 4457. He didn't look at either one.

In the most part I think that it will depend on the agents that you happen to get. If they are having a good day you will fly through, if they are having a bad day look out.

But it is better to be prepared for whatever they ask you and have all the proper paperwork just in case.
 

marcusvdk

Veteran member
Dec 13, 2011
4,016
342
Michigan
Having a form 4457 filled out by your local customs can be helpful for reentry also. Anything with a serial number, guns, scopes, cameras etc. Proves it was yours when you went in and not something your bringing back with you.


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Yes that is helpful but I didn't end up needing it but makes life easy when you come back

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marcusvdk

Veteran member
Dec 13, 2011
4,016
342
Michigan
Passport, declaration form not signed. They never checked the guns when we crossed just the forms. Make sure you have Visa, Mastercard or Canadian cash. To pay for the form. If you haven't been there before they may do a background check its quick if there isn't a line. They just take your passport and run your name. I had this going there for the first time in September.

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marcusvdk

Veteran member
Dec 13, 2011
4,016
342
Michigan
I wouldn't worry about the ssn card or birthday certificate your passport covers that.

When you get to the boarder make sure you have your passport ready when you get to the booth. Kinda like a toll booth. Then make sure you know closest city to wear you are going, how many days you'll be in Canada, and what you will be doing there, and that you have a firearms declaration form. After that they tell you where to park you go inside sign and pay( unless they want to inspect your guns) you are good to go. It really isn't to bad. I had myself all worked up about it but it was pretty quick and easy.


On the way back was easy as well just asked where we were going, told them home they asked where that was. Then how long we were in Canada. And if we bought anything we were bringing back we had souvenirs. They ask what kind, some knick-knacks, furs ( bought of our guide), and shirts. Then they sent us on our way.

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sneakypete

Veteran member
Aug 9, 2011
2,648
48
Oakdale Ca.
Passport, firearms permit and I forgot to mention don't bring any booze. Also if you're hunting with an outfitter bring your contract!
I've never been asked for it but outfitter told us to have it.
 

CrimsonArrow

Very Active Member
Feb 21, 2011
691
26
Minnesota
We bring beer and booze across every trip to our cabin in northwest Ontario. Never been a problem, just have to pay duty on anything over one case of beer or one liter of alcohol. Regarding your firearm, when they come out to check it, don’t touch it until they tell you to. They are law enforcement officers and as expected, can be a little edgy about guns. There was another group of hunters crossing the same time as I was, and while the border officer was checking us, one of the other group started taking their rifle out of the case on his tailgate. The officer immediately had his hand on his weapon, as he sternly told them to put it down.
 

mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
1,943
294
I know nothing about the gun thing. I only travel across with bows.

And I quote the Canadian border agent asking my wife the following question...

"What kind of ammunition does your bow shoot?"
"Uuuuuuuh....arrows..."

I kept a straight face....but it was hard.


Have your drivers license inside of your passport and have it ready when you pull up.
Dont act suspicious.
Dont have a passport photo from college looking like Jesus himself....On one particular crossing the Canadian Agent looked at my buddys passport and then looked at my buddy over the top of his glasses, my buddy just shrugged and said "It was a dark period of my life..." thought for sure they were going to snap the rubber gloves on/in us for sure but they just sent us on our way.

Never had them dump my bags or check my coolers. Wouldn't have been a big deal. They were empty 3 of the 6 times anyhow lol
 

Mr Drysdale

Active Member
Mar 24, 2013
215
6
I remember tobacco being an issue when we went (2002). They emptied every bag we had and inspected all firearms. There were five of us. I guess we looked suspicious. Coming back they nearly waived us through.
 

Bonecollector

Veteran member
Mar 9, 2014
4,308
760
Ohio
Getting close guys.

Have Passport and Driver License at the ready.
Guns locked in case on separate key ring
Fill out and do NOT sign Firearm Declaration Form (the directions say to sign so what gives..?)

Is this same form kept with me while in Canada so I can use on my return trip?

Any other advice before I make my trek north to send a bear back to permanent hibernation? :p
 

marcusvdk

Veteran member
Dec 13, 2011
4,016
342
Michigan
Getting close guys.

Have Passport and Driver License at the ready.
Guns locked in case on separate key ring
Fill out and do NOT sign Firearm Declaration Form (the directions say to sign so what gives..?)

Is this same form kept with me while in Canada so I can use on my return trip?

Any other advice before I make my trek north to send a bear back to permanent hibernation? :p
You need to keep that form with you well in Canada technically not used to come back but could help your case. To bring guns back to prove you owned before your supposed to use the form 4473 I believe from customs and have them verify it( they didnt ask for it when we came back in)

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AKaviator

Veteran member
Jul 26, 2012
1,498
260
Anchorage Alaska
Take bug spray, I just drove thru and it was buggy! If your carry pepper spray, make sure it's made for bears and not O.C. spray for people. The Canada officers have asked me that each time.

You're going to have a great trip, I'm sure!

Lucky me, I get to go fishing with Colorado Cowboy on Thursday and Saturday!